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(1956). British Journal of Medical Psychology. XXVII, 1954: Mind and Its Relation to the Psyche-Soma. D. W. Winnicott. Pp. 201-209.. Psychoanal Q., 25:127-127.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: British Journal of Medical Psychology. XXVII, 1954: Mind and Its Relation to the Psyche-Soma. D. W. Winnicott. Pp. 201-209.

(1956). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 25:127-127

British Journal of Medical Psychology. XXVII, 1954: Mind and Its Relation to the Psyche-Soma. D. W. Winnicott. Pp. 201-209.

Winnicott describes the mind as a specialized portion of the 'psyche' in the 'psyche-soma' continuum. The psyche is the 'imaginative elaboration of somatic parts, feelings, and functions, that is, of physical aliveness'. This differentiation of the mind occurs early in infancy as an adaptive reaction to defects in the child's milieu, specifically the failure of the mother to provide a 'perfect environment'. The failures of a 'good enough' mother are such that the demands made on the infant are relatively simple and thus the demands on the developing mental activity are not too great. If the demands are too great, overactivity of mental functioning results which leads to a pathological 'mind-psyche'. When the strain is even greater, confusional states and mental defect can be produced. Winnicott points out that there is no place for 'mind' in the body schema and the concept of the mind as a localized phenomenon is merely an illusion. One of the chief reasons for this false localization (in the head) is the experience of the process of birth. Many of the experiences at birth are too much for the neonate and cannot be mastered at this time. One of the ways in which the infant attempts to cope with these experiences is 'cataloging' them until they can be assimilated at a later date. The need to relive these birth experiences necessitates very profound regression in the analytic situation, which the author illustrates with one of his cases.

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Article Citation

(1956). British Journal of Medical Psychology. XXVII, 1954. Psychoanal. Q., 25:127-127

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